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Authors, Poets & Novelists ~

Vicente Blasco Ibanez
Henrik Ibsen
Jovita Idar

William M. Inge
William R. Inge
Robert G. Ingersoll
Thomas Ingoldsby

Eugene Ionesco
Washington Irving
Christopher Isherwood

Spanish Novelist Vicente Blasco Ibanez, Photographic Print
Vicente Blasco Ibanez, Photographic Print

Vicente Blasco Ibanez
b. 1-29-1867; Valencia, Spain
d. 1-28-1928; Menton, France

Vincente Blasco Ibanez is best remembered in the English speaking world for his WWI novel The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (Los cuatro jinetes del apocalipsis).

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1921 film) poster

Henry Ibsen Art Print
Henry Ibsen
Art Print

Henrik Ibsen
b. 3-20-1828; Skien, Norway
d. 5-23-1906; Oslo

Poet and playwright Henrik Ibsen is often referred to as the “father of modern drama”. His most noted works include Brand, Peer Gynt, A Doll's House and Hedda Gabler.

Ibsen quote ~
• “Money may be the husk of many things, but not the kernel. It brings you food, but not appetite; medicine, but not health; acquaintances, but not friends; servants, but not faithfulness; days of joy, but not peace or happiness.”

Love's Comedy poster
Peer Gynt ballet
Four Major Plays : A Doll's House, Ghosts, Hedda Gabler, The Master Builder

Jovita Idar (Latinos in American History)
Jovita Idar (Latinos in American History)

(no commercially available poster)

Jovita Idar
b. 9-7-1885; Laredo, Texas
d. 6-15-1946; San Antonio, TX

Jovita Idar, teacher, journalist, political and civil rights activist worked to advance the civil rights of Mexican-Americans.

Jovita Idar quote ~
• “Educate a woman and you educate a family.”

William Inge, Photographic Print by Gordon Parks
William Inge,
Photographic Print
by Gordon Parks

William M. Inge
b. 5-3-1913; Independence, KS
d. 6-10-1973; California (suicide)

Playwright and novelist William Motter Inge wrote a number of memorable Broadway productions like Come Back, Little Sheba, Bus Stop, The Dark at the Top of the Stair, Picnic and Spendor in the Grass which portrays of small-town life and settings rooted in the American heartland.

Picnic Movie Poster
Picnic Movie Poster

William M. Inge ~
• “Nobody is bored when he is trying to make something that is beautiful, or to discover something that is true.”
• “Oh, believe me. The greatest egos are those which are too egotistical to show just how egotistical they are.” ~ Bus Stop

Four Plays

William R. Inge at Amazon
William R. Inge

William R. Inge
b. 6-6-1860; Yorkshire, England
d. 2-24-1954

Clergyman William Ralph Inge, noted for his articles, lectures and sermons, as well as over 35 books, is best known for his works on Plotinus and neoplatonic philosophy, and on Christian mysticism.

William R. Inge quotes ~
• “No word in our language — not even “Socialism”— has been employed more loosely than ‘Mysticism’. … The history of the word begins in close connexion with the Greek mysteries. A mystic is one who has been, or is being, initiated into some esoteric knowledge of Divine things, about which he must keep his mouth shut… ”
• “Worry is interest paid on a trouble before it is due.”
• “We have enslaved the rest of the animal creation, and have treated our distant cousins in fur and feathers so badly that beyond doubt, if they were able to formulate a religion, they would depict the Devil in human form.”
• “Civilization is a disease which is almost invariably fatal.”
• “There are two kinds of fools: one says, "This is old, therefore it is good"; the other says, "This is new, therefore it is better.”

Christian Ethics and Modern Problems

Robert Green Ingersoll at the home of Thomas Paine, New Rocelle, N.Y., Historic Print
Robert Green Ingersoll,
Historic Print

Robert G. Ingersoll
b. 8-11-1833; Dresden, NY
d. 7-21-1899; buried at Arlington Nat'l Cemetery

Political leader Robert G. Ingersoll, best remembered as an orator during the Golden Age of Freethought and noted for his broad range of culture and his defense of agnosticism, was published after his death. Ingersoll also had the life experiences of having an abolitionist Presbyterian preacher father which caused the family to move frequently (finally settling in Illinois), taught school, studied law, and fought in the Civil War.

Ingersoll was so well known in his day that audiences paid $1 or more to hear him speak, and he is referred to in the works of Ambrose Bierce, William Faulkner, Sherwood Anderson, Sinclair Lewis, P. G. Wodehouse, and in the movie Born Yesterday. He also delivered the euglogy at his friend Walt Whitman's funeral.

Best of Robert Ingersoll: Selections from His Writings and Speeches

Robert G. Ingersoll quotes ~
• “A fact never went into partnership with a miracle. Truth scorns the assistance of wonders. A fact will fit every other fact in the universe, and that is how you can tell whether it is or is not a fact. A lie will not fit anything except another lie.”
• “Every man is dishonest who lives upon the labor of others, no matter if he occupies a throne.”
• “Give to every human being every right that you claim for yourself.”
• “Happiness is the only good. The time to be happy is now. The place to be happy is here. The way to be happy is to make others so.”
• “In the republic of mediocrity, genius is dangerous.”
• “It is a thousand times better to have common sense without education than to have education without common sense.”
• “Justice should remove the bandage from her eyes long enough to distinguish between the vicious and the unfortunate.”
• “Reason, observation, and experience; the holy trinity of science.”
• “The more liberty you give away the more you will have.”
• “When the will defies fear, when duty throws the gauntlet down to fate, when honor scorns to compromise with death - that is heroism.”

The Ingoldsby Legends or MIRTH and MARVELS by Thomas Ingoldsby Esquire
The Ingoldsby Legends
by Thomas Ingoldsby Esquire

Thomas Ingoldsby of Tappington Manor
née Richard H. Barham
b. 12-6-1788; Canterbury, England
d. 6-17-1845; London

Novelist, humorous poet, and Church of England cleric Richard Harris Barham is better known by his nom de plume of Thomas Ingoldsby, and for his series called The Ingoldsby Legends (see illustrators John Leech and George Cruikshank).

FYI - Barham is also the author of the poem As I laye a-thynkynge that was set to music by composer Edward Elgar. And an early version of “Bingo Was His Name-O” is from the Ingoldsby Legends.

The Life and Letters of the Rev. Richard Harris Barham V1: Author of the Ingoldsby Legends, with a Selection from His Miscellaneous Poems

Eugene Ionesco, Newswire Photo
Eugene Ionesco,
Newswire Photo

Eugene Ionesco
b. 11-26-1909; Slatina, Romania
d. 3-28-1994; Paris

Romanian and French playwright and dramatist Eugene Ionesco is most often associated with the Theatre of the Absurd.

Eugene Ionesco quotes ~
• “A work of art is above all an adventure of the mind.”
• “It is not the answer that enlightens, but the question.”
• “We have not the time to take our time.”
• “Beauty is a precious trace that eternity causes to appear to us and that it takes away from us. A manifestation of eternity, and a sign of death as well.”
• “I've always been suspicious of collective truths.”
• “Ideologies separate us. Dreams and anguish bring us together.”

Washington Irving, Photographic Print
Washington Irving, Photographic Print

Washington Irving
b. 4-3-1783; NYC, NY
d. 11-29-1859; NY

During the 19th century, author Washington Irving became known for his humorous stories and for essays making fun of New York society. Irving worked as a lawyer in New York City for a time, but his love for writing led him to leave his law practice in 1809. That same year his first book, Knickerbocker's History of Hew York, was published.

Irving's most famous works include the short stories “Rip Van Winkle” and “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” both of which are in the collection titled, The Sketch Book (1819-1820). “Rip Van Winkle” tells about a man who falls asleep for twenty years and wakes up to discover that the American Revolution has taken place. “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” finds awkward schoolmaster Ichabod Crane frightened by a headless horseman. The success of The Sketch Book helped the short story gain popularity with American writers, readers, and critics.

Washington Irving loved to travel, and throughout his life he visited many countries. European traditions and authors influenced his work. For example, “Rip Van Winkle” and “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” are actually based on German folk tales.

Rip Van Winkle House, Sleepy Hollow, Catskills, Art Print
Rip Van Winkle House,
Sleepy Hollow, Catskills,
Art Print

Irving became a U.S. diplomat in Spain in 1826, and his writing from this time show his interest in Spanish topics. When he returned to New York in 1832, he wrote history and biography. He then served as the U.S. minister to Spain for four years beginning in 1842.

Irving died in 1859, soon after finishing a five-volume biography of George Washington, at the age of 76 years.

Washington Irving quotes~
• “Whenever a man's friends begin to compliment him about looking young, he may be sure that they think he is growing old.” ~ Bachelors
• “The almighty dollar, that great object of universal devotion throughout our land, seems to have no genuine devotees in these peculiar villages; and unless some of its missionaries penetrate there, and erect banking houses and other pious shrines, there is no knowing how long the inhabitants may remain in their present state of contented poverty.” ~ The Creole Village
• “How convenient it would be to many of our great men and great families of doubtful origin, could they have the privilege of the heroes of yore, who, whenever their origin was involved in obscurity, modestly announced themselves descended from a god.” ~ Knickerbocker's History of New York

Washington Irving at
19th Century American Authors posters

FYI - The musical Knickerbocker Holiday, by Maxwell Anderson and Kurt Weill, was based on Irving's work.

FYI - The Rip Van Winkle story may be based on an illness now known as encephalitis lethargica which was identified during WWI by Constantin von Economo.

Portrait of Christopher Isherwood, Historic Print
Portrait of
Christopher Isherwood,
Historic Print

Christopher Isherwood
b. 8-26-1904; Cheshire, England
d. 1-4-1986; Santa Monica, CA

The novelist Christopher Isherwood created ‘Sally Bowles’, the lead character in the play and film Cabaret.

Isherwood on Writing: The Lectures in California

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